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"My very own riot?"
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September 29 2007

A Marxist reading of Firefly. This is now the 15th political ideology associated with the show.

I think it's great that so many people can see so many different things in the show.

I didn't know there were 15 kinds of political ideology.
"A Marxist perspective isn’t perfect in regards to Firefly..."

And the British Understatement Society's annual award in the Field of Popular Culture goes to...
I really enjoyed this. It was funny/sad how the author referred to "Season One" of Firefly.
The relationship between Mal and Inara reflects the struggle within Marxist thought over "sex work." Marx said, “Prostitution is only a specific expression of the general prostitution of the laborer.” (Thanks, Interweb.) Many Marxists think sex work is not necessarily more degrading than other jobs. That seems to be the overall tone of Firefly, in which Inara has an occasional bad customer, but basically does better than most laborers. "Heart of Gold" shows women who act like they really enjoy their customers, well, except when they try to steal their babies. This contrasts with Mal, who sees prostitution as demeaning, at least when Inara does it.
I've now revised my criteria for giving my students an "A."
Next on the list- How Firefly is an obvious support of the Greek city-state system.
Overreaching interpretations, never happened in human history.
Does the world really need 15 political ideologies?
Next on the list- How Firefly is an obvious support of the Greek city-state system.

Really? Greek, not the German?
The result was a greater understanding of the series’ representation of class, unique for the genre ...

Umm, apart from all the other representations of class in sci-fi. 'War of the Worlds' (book), 'Bladerunner' (and in fact, most of PK Dick's stuff), '1984', 'Babylon 5', Iain Banks' sci-fi novels (especially books featuring the Culture - which is pretty much a Communist/Anarchist utopia), Allen Steele's 'Rude Astronaut' series (featuring a bunch of working Joe's, often set against a company that has pretty wanton disregard for their safety), the Alien films (probably especially Alien 3) - hell, even 'Armageddon' is basically "ordinary working people save the world, despite the US government's stuck up incompetence". Class actually crops up a surprising amount in sci-fi given how US led the genre is (though it's fair to say the 'verse has one of the better thought out "class" systems - and short as the series was Joss also had more time than most films/books do to explore it).

And I always thought the reason 'Star Trek' didn't represent a class struggle was because it was already over in that universe. Trek (especially the later incarnations) is a fairly close rendering of a working Communist society (thanks to the post-scarcity scenario allowed by replicators - the "workers" controlling the means of production writ large, surely ?).

Interesting essay, not sure how well read the author is in the genre though. Sci-fi is more than Trek, 'Star Wars' and 'Firefly'.
This paper definitely shows a lack of knowledge about Science Fiction. That from someone who is in no way a Science Fiction expert.
Plus don't forget the labor revolt on BSG last season.
Hmmmmm just how many Whedonverse videos have been pulled off YouTube due to 20th Century Fox complaints?
Sixty ten. At a guess.

Or a kabillion.
Well, academic/philosophical Marxism and actual would-be revolutionary Marxism aren't exactly the same, but remember how "Serenity" got great reviews from actual Leninist/Stalinist/Maoist communist newspapers/web sites? Basically, the only group left out of the Serenifly love is White supremacists.

I've said this before years back, but one of the most interesting aspects of the whole Browncoat phenomenon is it's appeal to political types of both right and left and how it was praised by political bloggers who probably not only disagreed about just about everything, but probably hated each other with a vengeance, with a slight rightward edge, probably because of the space cowboy thing.

Kind of appropriate given that, while Joss is very definitely an activist left-liberal, Tim Minear was reportedly just as much a right-conservative.
And the terms liberal and conservative are as broad and exclusive to personal defintion as opinions on religion or the conception of the soul. After almost 8 years of G.W. Bush and all this fire-charged left/right crap I despise the very words left and right. Expand the horizons a little, people. Ideology is never that simple.

Which is one of the many reasons someone can look at a show like Firefly and see Marxist roots. This particular analysis seemed a little nitpicky but, hey. *shrug*

[ edited by Ryan-RB on 2007-09-30 02:55 ]

[ edited by Ryan-RB on 2007-09-30 02:55 ]
Next on the list- How Firefly is an obvious support of the Greek city-state system.


Shouldn't that be GEEK city-state?

sorry ... I'll go now

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